What is Geofencing & Why Should Your Local Business Care?

geofencing local mobile advertising

You’re probably already familiar with a number of local targeting terms, but have you heard of geofencing? This relatively new term, geofence marketing, sounds complex, but it’s really pretty simple.

What is Geofencing Marketing?

Basically, geofencing is a location-based mobile technology that lets you define a precise, hyperlocal geographic area for a specific mobile use or application. In terms of geofencing marketing, this virtual “fence” allows you to target only people (via their mobile devices) within that defined area with your marketing, such as SMS (text) alerts or mobile ads, like those that display within your favorite apps.

How Does Geofencing Work?

Once you set up parameters for your geofence, consumers are targeted based on the GPS of their smartphone or other mobile device. Geofences can also be dynamic, meaning they can change, grow, or shrink based on pre-determined criteria. For instance, if you’re using mobile advertising to attract people to your restaurant, you may want a wider geofence during slow times, such as the middle of the afternoon, and a narrower geofence during the busy dinner rush. Many mobile marketing technologies offer an expandable geofence option to ensure your advertising can reach the most local consumers at any given time.

What Benefits Can You Get From Geofence-Enabled Advertising?

Mobile advertising with dynamic geofencing technology can offer a number of benefits to local businesses, especially to those that rely heavily on in-person visits to generate sales.

For instance, this type of advertising allows you to:

  • Show your ads to on-the-go consumers when they are physically near your business, even if they don’t live or work near you
  • Attract new consumers by showing them special offers or messages when they are near your business
  • Engage only the most relevant local shoppers who are most likely to take action, such as redeeming a coupon or calling you to make an appointment
  • Win the sale from prospects who may already be on their way to a local competitor
  • Get new business from consumers visiting a related business; for instance, you can target the area around a nearby restaurant to find new prospects for your ice cream shop

Does your business use mobile marketing to reach on-the-go consumers? Are you considering adopting advertising that uses geofence technology to attract local consumers to your business? Let us know in the comments, and then watch this quick video to learn how ReachLocal’s Mobile In App Advertising solution brings new customers to local businesses.

Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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